24 January 2021
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1057 days have passed since the Salisbury incident - no credible information or response from the British authorities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     1049 days have passed since the death of Nikolay Glushkov on British soil - no credible information or response from the British authorities



Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with Prensa Latina News Agency, February 5, 2020

Question: What is your opinion of the new US punitive measures to toughen the embargo against Cuba that has been in place for almost 60 years?

Sergey Lavrov: We can see that US attempts to reformat the Latin American region in line with its geopolitical interests aim to overthrow the “undesirable regimes” in Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua. The archaic Monroe Doctrine serves as the ideological foundation. In the run-up to the presidential election, the White House continues to ratchet up sanctions against those states which preserve their national independence, sovereignty and identity. This openly anti-human policy runs counter to the generally accepted principles of international law, including the UN Charter.

An overwhelming majority of members of the international community condemn and reject lifting the waiver on Title III of the Helms-Burton Act, the ban on chartered and regular flights to all Cuban airports, except the Havana Airport, restrictions against transport companies cooperating with the island, numerous visa and financial restrictions and the campaign against Cuban doctors. The November 7, 2019 vote on the anti-blockade resolution at the UN General Assembly vividly confirms this.

I repeat: Washington’s sanctions against Havana prove that, in an effort to stifle the Cuban economy, the United States deliberately violates human rights, and ordinary people always suffer, above all.

We see the introduction of additional restrictive measures as a manifestation of Washington’s inability to break the will of the Cuban nation and to impose its own opinion and values. We emphatically reject these steps and stand in solidarity with our Cuban friends. We insistently call for the complete repeal of the financial and economic embargo, so as to ensure the country’s full-fledged socioeconomic development, implement the principle of the sovereign equality of states and guarantee the legitimate rights of the Cuban nation.

Question: Cuba and Russia are marking 60 years since resuming diplomatic relations. What can you tell us about the current state of political, economic and cultural cooperation between our countries in the run-up to the anniversary?

Sergey Lavrov: This year on May 8, we are marking the 60th anniversary of resuming diplomatic relations. This is an impressive span of time. We have achieved significant progress over these 60 years.

Today, Cuba is Russia’s priority partner in Latin America and the Caribbean. Our multidimensional collaboration, based on strong traditions of friendship and cooperation, and objective commonality of interests, is looking towards the future. Our mutual determination for strengthening the Russian-Cuban strategic partnership has been confirmed in the course of regular high-level and top-level contacts.

The history of our bilateral relations is inseparable from the name of Fidel Castro, the leader and creator of the Cuban Revolution, and genuine leader of the persevering and tenacious people of Freedom Island. His was a personality of global scale, without exaggeration. We specifically developed an itinerary that will honour the Comandante’s memory, including a visit to Santa Ifigenia Cemetery, where other fighters for Cuba’s independence also rest in peace. This has great significance for me because in the eyes of many generations of Russians Fidel remains an example of true service to one’s country and people.

It is symbolic that President of Cuba Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez will visit Russia to attend the events marking the 75th anniversary of defeating Nazism. We see this as further confirmation of the brotherly ties connecting our nations.

Our bilateral and practical cooperation has many dimensions. Along with our Cuban friends, we continue to build a model for long-term mutually beneficial cooperation that is not affected by external conditions and focuses, among other things, on ensuring Cuba’s energy and food security. We appreciate the fact that Cuba’s leaders have assigned Russia a special role in modernising Cuba’s national economy and upgrading the country’s socioeconomic development model. 

This direction was once again confirmed during the 17th meeting of the Russia-Cuba Intergovernmental Commission in September 2019 in Moscow. We are working on large joint projects in energy and metal production, transport infrastructure, developing IT, communications and space technologies, biopharmaceutics and biotechnology. Russia supplies railway and vehicle equipment. We are building a maintenance base for this as well.

Russia and Cuba are expanding cultural and humanitarian links, including education exchanges. Our country is a regular participant in the Havana International Book Fair, theatre and film festivals. Every alternate year Moscow and Havana host the weeks of Cuban and Russian cinema, respectively.

Every year, 100 Cuban students come to Russia to learn the Russian language, study Russian literature, and many other things. Cuba has the Pushkin Institute, a Russian language learning and testing centre at the University of Havana. Russian is taught as an optional class in two secondary schools in Havana.

Together, we celebrated the 500th anniversary of the Cuban capital. Havana also hosted St Petersburg Days. The golden dome of the National Capitol in Havana is once again showcasing its shining beauty after a renovation by Russian experts. 

Russia and Cuba closely coordinate foreign policies. This coordination is based on adherence to the unshakable principles of international law, including respect for sovereign equality between states and non-intervention in their internal affairs.

We are optimistic about the future of Russian-Cuban relations which we value very much. We know that our Cuban friends approach these relations in a similar fashion.

Question: Russia believes the development of integration processes in Latin America to be very important. However, recently we have seen a trend towards restraining the activities or even eliminating such regional organisations as the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR). What do you think about this?

Sergey Lavrov: I agree that today the integration processes in Latin America are in a difficult phase. We can see a certain imbalance in regional integration building, not without interference from the outside. This is also true for UNASUR, because some of its members left to establish an alternative organisation, the Forum for the Progress and Development of South America (PROSUR). We proceed from the fact that the Latin Americans must be the ones to choose the most suitable forms of regional cooperation.

Russia is ready to develop mutually beneficial cooperation with all regional integration organisations. We have always spoken in favour of a united and politically and economically stable Latin America: this is the only way for the region to become a pillar of the emerging multipolar world. In addition, the high degree of unity and mutual understanding, and the ability to find collective answers to the topical challenges we face today have always distinguished Latin Americans.

We see the potential of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), which we regard as a unique regional platform promoting a unifying agenda based on non-confrontation. We hope that with the help of Mexico, which is chairing CELAC, the Latin Americans will be able to overcome their internal differences based on the working programme adopted in Mexico City in January 2020. After CELAC overcomes these differences, we would be able to resume the Russia – CELAC dialogue mechanisms in a way that would suit our partners.

We also see good opportunities to expand cooperation with our regional partners in such areas as the aerospace sector, natural disaster prevention and relief (using the regional Russian-Cuban fire rescue centre located in Havana) and the establishment of a regional antimicrobial monitoring system (involving Mechnikov SA, the Russia-Nicaragua Biotechnology Institute Project), which are priorities for CELAC.


To be continued...


21.01.2021 - Press release on the future of New START

When it comes to arms control, the previous US administration worked consistently and systematically to destroy the agreements which prevented Washington from arbitrarily building up, projecting and using military force and which it saw as an obstacle on its way to “victory” in the “great power rivalry” it itself declared.

19.01.2021 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's remarks and answers to media questions at a news conference on the results of Russian diplomacy in 2020, Moscow, January 18, 2021

This is our traditional news conference on the foreign policy outcomes of 2020. It is traditional, but remote. We opted for a format that was widely used over the past year due to the coronavirus pandemic and restrictions imposed in almost all countries, including Russia.

15.01.2021 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s statement and answers to media questions during a joint news conference following talks with Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, Moscow, January 14, 2021

Ladies and gentlemen, We had substantive and meaningful talks. We discussed the further development of the friendly and trustworthy relations between our countries in accordance with the agreements reached during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Riyadh in the autumn of 2019, and subsequent telephone conversations at top level.

01.01.2021 - President Vladimir Putin's New Year Address to the Nation

Citizens of Russia, friends, The year 2020 will be over in just a few minutes. As we were welcoming it a year ago today, just like people around the world, we thought and dreamed of changes for the better. No one could have imagined back then what kind of trials would come our way. Now, it appears that the outgoing year has taken in the burden of many years. It was a difficult year for all of us, with worries and serious financial difficulties, bitter experiences and, for some, loss of the loved ones.

29.12.2020 - Main Foreign Policy Results in 2020

In 2020, Russia’s foreign policy focused on making better use of the potential for international cooperation in the interests of protecting national security, promoting the country’s socioeconomic development and encouraging approaches to current global and regional problems that meet the interests of Russia.

22.12.2020 - Statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation

We consider the adoption by the European Union at the behest of its leading Member States of illegitimate restrictive measures against some of our fellow citizens under the pretext of their alleged involvement in the incident with Russian citizen Alexei Navalny to be absolutely unacceptable.

22.12.2020 - Foreign Ministry statement regarding OPCW response to Russia’s request for technical assistance to clarify the situation around Alexey Navalny

On October 1, we sent a request to Fernando Arias, Director-General of the OPCW and head of its Technical Secretariat, for technical assistance under Clause 38 (е) of Article VIII of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). Two and a half months later, we are still waiting for a meaningful response. Their explanation is the absence of the German authorities’ permission for full-scale cooperation between the agency’s experts and competent Russian organisations to clarify the circumstances of what Berlin describes as the poisoning of the blogger. Russia’s suggestions regarding the main modalities of a planned visit of OPCW Technical Secretariat’s representatives to Russia have been rejected as well.

19.12.2020 - Comment by Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on Russian and Syrian efforts to eradicate terrorism in Syria

Moscow has taken note of a statement made by US Secretary of State’s Special Envoy for Syria Joel Rayburn to the effect that Russia and the Assad regime are aggravating the problem of terrorism in Syria. He has accused Moscow and Damascus, without any substantiation, of involvement in the bombing and artillery raids on Idlib, which allegedly do not target terrorists but innocent civilians, infrastructure and armed opposition groups. He has also said that he believes that Russia and the Damascus regime are not doing enough to combat terrorism.

14.12.2020 - Comment by Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on the new round of British anti-Russia sanctions

We were puzzled by the decision announced by the British government on December 10, 2020 to impose sanctions against three Russian individuals and a unit of the National Guard over the alleged human rights violations in the Chechen Republic.

11.12.2020 - Comment by Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on a new set of US sanctions

Regrettably, the US authorities have decided to celebrate Human Rights Day, which is marked on December 10, by adopting new sanctions against Russian individuals and entities.

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